The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, October 12, 2003

One peculiar tic that afflicts political reporters is that they believe that certain politicians are beloved by the people. (Said politicians always seem to be Democrats, but maybe there is sample bias from my living in California.) For instance, here are two recent blog entries from Mickey Kaus:

[Quoting David Broder:] A man who I was talking to said, "If Leon Panetta's name had gone on the ballot as an alternative, he would be winning this race hands down.

How long before California Democrats, in their recriminations, turn the blame against popular U. S. Senator Dianne Feinstein? She could have saved them from the Davis debacle--if she'd entered the race she almost certainly would have won; Schwarzenegger might well have stayed out.

I am sure that for moderate-liberal politics junkies like Broder and Kaus, Panetta and Feinstein have the same cachet that, say, Brett Favre has to a football fan. But most Californians have a dim awareness that Feinstein is one of their senators ("How many does each state get? I think it's two.") I would wager that 95% of adult Golden Staters could not tell you who Leon Panetta is. Maybe Panetta and Feinstein did not have a magical ability to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maybe Schwarzenegger would have pasted them as handily as he did his actual opposition.



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